Review of William Shakepseare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, performed by the Marin Shakespeare Company

Performances run until Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Review by Hannah Yurke

In the words of MSC Artistic Director, Robert Currier, the choice of a non white cast was to ‘spark discussions about race and culture and who Shakespeare belongs to and benefits today.’ In the compelling video interview above, created by MSC, Dameion Brown talks about learning to act whilst in prison. A class he almost accidentally fell into, to avoid an infraction penalty from a prison guard, slowly broke down the long held conflicts between gang members and transformed these hardened men into a collaborative troupe of Shakespearian actors who gained new found respect for themselves and each other. It underscores the fact that Shakespeare is most definitely not just for the predominantly, and perhaps predictably, white audience who watched the play. It made me wonder about the oceans of undiscovered and unchanneled artistic potential that is still out there, on our streets and in our prisons, unrealized, because of trauma, background and toxic codes of gang behavior.

Here is a gem of a company entirely deserving of our support, so I urge you to go out and see ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ It’s entirely worth your while. Bring layers. Cushions are available to rent for a dollar, ensuring you come away with much richer memories than how cold and achy your butt is!

Photos by Jay Yamada. With permission by the Marin Shakespeare Company.